What To Do (And Not Do) When Your Ex Won’t Pay Child Support
Parents who divorce will still be obligated to work with each other and try to communicate about their child’s best interests, at least until that child turns 18 years old and officially leaves the nest. For many, this means that one parent pays child support to the other, to help cover the cost of the child’s upkeep. Unfortunately, not all parents comply with child support orders as carefully as they should, which can leave the other co-parent in a tough spot financially. Parents who find themselves in this situation are not, however, without legal options.
There are actually quite a few options available to parents when a former spouse stops making child support payments. It’s often a good idea, for example, to first reach out to the non-compliant spouse and try to communicate with him or her about the overdue payments. In many cases, the delay in payment may have been due to an oversight or a clerical error, in which case, it can quickly be remedied without court intervention. Working with an ex-spouse is, however, not always recommended, as in situations where there is a fear of domestic violence or abuse. If working through the problem in an out-of-court setting isn’t an option, then a parent can take legal action with the help of a family lawyer by:
- Initiating contempt proceedings;
- Asking the court to establish a specific repayment plan; and
- Asking the court to withhold the non-paying spouse’s income.
A parent who fails to comply with a court’s order to pay child support can expect to face severe consequences, including:
- The suspension of his or her driver’s license;
- The suspension of a professional license;
- The garnishment of his or her wages;
- A reduction in his or her credit score;
- The seizure of certain assets;
- The withholding of a federal tax refund;
- Criminal charges; and
- Jail time.
For help enforcing your own child support order, contact our legal team today.
What Not to Do
It’s important for parents to remember that even if they are frustrated by a co-parent’s failure to pay child support, they cannot withhold visitation or otherwise violate the parenting plan in an effort to force payment. In Florida, a parent’s rights to visitation are separate from his or her obligation to pay child support, so a failure to pay doesn’t justify the withholding of visitation. In fact, a parent who engages in this behavior could end up facing severe legal repercussions from the court.
Contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. Today
Is your former partner refusing to pay child support, leaving you alone with the financial responsibility to support your child? If so, you could benefit from the help of an experienced Florida child support enforcement lawyer, who can help you collect the amounts that you are owed. Call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today to learn more. You can also set up a free consultation by completing one of our online contact forms.